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Green fingers: Friars Court residents plant a new garden

Woman and children digging in mud

Our tenants and staff got together to transform the garden at Friars Court in Colchester.

Published: 24/08/2021

The plain grassy area outside their homes was underused, so they decided to unlock its potential by turning it into a bug-friendly garden.

Friars Court is a supported housing service for individuals and families in Colchester who have experienced homelessness. Our support workers help them gain skills and confidence to independently manage a long-term tenancy. As part of this service, we wanted to give our customers a garden they could really enjoy.

On the big day, 20 residents got stuck in alongside our support workers, planting flowers and painting bird boxes and bug hotels. Blooming Colchester donated plants and one of their experts shared his knowledge with our customers. Meanwhile, our caretaker Josh put his woodworking skills to use by converting wooden pallets into flower beds. And of course, everyone got covered with soil and paint.

The activities were especially popular with the children, who had a great time choosing where the plants went. “This is amazing”, “I rate the activities 10/10” and “I really liked this event” were just some of their glowing reviews.

And the project won’t end there. The Friars Court residents are hoping the new garden will attract more birds, bees and butterflies. And to make it more human-friendly, they plan to grow their own communal herbs and vegetables too.

Christina, who lives at Friars Court, summarised the day:
“The event was wonderful. The children enjoyed the planting and painting activity. We hope that there will be more events like this to bring the tenants together.”

Rachel, one of our Supported Housing Managers, added:
“This project was a labour of love, with contributions from lots of different people. The garden looked amazing after and we’re excited to see it being used by the residents of Friars Court.”

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